At the beginning of each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with several professional societies, releases updated versions of the recommended U.S. immunization schedules for children and teens, as well as for adults. These updated schedules reflect changes that were made in official vaccination recommendations during the previous year.

Immunization schedules for children and teens ages 0 to 18 years

Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years, United States, 2016. This six-page schedule, which was published online by CDC on Feb. 1, includes the age-based routine vaccination schedule for children and teens and the approved "catch-up" immunization schedule for people ages 4 months through 18 years who start vaccination late or who are more than one month behind schedule.

The schedule also includes three pages of essential explanatory footnotes. An article in the Feb. 5 MMWR (pages 86–87) provides a summary of the changes for 2016, including the new meningococcal B vaccine (MenB) recommendations for people in certain high-risk groups who are age 10 years and older, as well as the category B recommendation to vaccinate teens and young adults ages 16 through 23 years (with a preferred age range for vaccination at 16 to 18 years) who are not at high risk. (Category B recommendations are made to allow individual clinical decision making.)

Also highlighted in the new guidance is a recommendation to administer human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) beginning at age 9 years for children with a history of sexual abuse. CDC’s immunization schedule website offers multiple options for viewing or printing the schedules. Easy-to-read versions for parents are also available.

Adult immunization schedules for adults 19 years and older

Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, United States, 2016. The five-page adult schedule provides the “combined version” of recommendations by age range as well as by medical condition, two pages of essential footnotes, and a final page summarizing the contraindications and precautions for adult vaccine use. An article in the Feb. 5 MMWR (pages 88–90) summarizes changes to the adult guidance, including the new meningococcal serogroup B vaccine recommendations described in the paragraph above, as well as the addition of 9-valent HPV vaccine to the schedule that can be used for vaccination of both males and females.

Like the childhood and adolescent schedules described above, several additional formats of the adult schedules, including patient-friendly versions, are available on the CDC website.

IAC’s summaries of CDC vaccine recommendations for children and adults

To make your job easier, the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has updated its two user-friendly documents that summarize the guidance contained in the current CDC/ACIP recommendations.

Each summary includes the routine schedule, spacing between doses, schedules for catch-up vaccination, routes of administration, and contraindications and precautions for all routinely recommended vaccines in the United States.

These summaries of ACIP recommendations have long proved their value. For almost two decades, they have been top downloads from IAC's website for busy healthcare professionals. They have been reprinted in textbooks and state health department newsletters and distributed at countless medical, nursing and public health conferences. Print the summaries on card stock and place them in every exam room for easy reference by busy clinic staff.

Additional helpful materials about vaccine recommendations from IAC

Within the last year, IAC has updated the following specialized recommendation summaries for situations that providers often find confusing:

To assist your practice, take advantage of these summaries and more than 300 other ready-to-copy IAC materials for healthcare professionals and patients on the IAC website.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.